History of Drugs

Check this out. I don’t touch the stuff myself, but very interesting.

Excerpt:

…Commissioner Anslinger was testifying before a Senate Committee in 1948. He was saying, “I need more agents.” And, of course, the Senators asked him why.

“Because there are people out there violating the marijuana laws.”

Well, you know what the Senators asked — “Who?”

And in a moment that every Government employee should avoid like the plague, Anslinger first said, “Musicians.” But then he looked up at that Senate committee and he gave them a little piece of his heart and said the single line which provoked the most response in this country’s history about the non-medical use of drugs. Anslinger said, “And I don’t mean good musicians, I mean jazz musicians.”

Friends, there is no way to tell you what a torrent ensued. Within 24 hours, 76 newspaper editorials slammed him, including special editions the then booming trade press of the jazz music industry. With three days, the Department of the Treasury had received fifteen thousand letters. bunches of them were still in bags when I got there — never been opened at all. I opened a few. Here was a typical one, and it was darling.

“Dear Commissioner Anslinger,

I applaud your efforts to rid America of the scourge of narcotics addiction. If you are as ill-informed about that as you are about music, however, you will never succeed.”

Indeed.

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